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Intel DH77DF mSata 6 Gbps capabilities

Community Manager


I'm about to build a mini ITX Server using a DH77DF MB with an i7 3770.

I'm gonna be using the 2 x Sata 6 Gbps ports to host a RAID 0 array (HDDs) and the 2 x Sata 3 Gbps

for a RAID 1 (also HDDs), so there will be no Sata connector left. Thus, I will need to use the mSata

port to put one of your new 525 SSD which will serve as a VM datastore.

So, here are my questions :

1) I understand that the mSata port uses an adapter to be fitted in the PCIe slot. So, in other

words, if I want to use mSata at all, I can say good bye to the PCIe 16x slot, is that correct ?

2) Now, speed-wise, from what I gathered, mSata does handle Sata 3 speeds but is ultimately handled

by the H77 Sata controller which only supports 2 drives in Sata 3 / 6 Gbps mode.

So, which disks will have priority for Sata 3 speed in that case (2xSata3 + mSata connected) ?

I'm guessing not the mSata...

3) If so, will I be able to set the Sata 3 ports to run at Sata 2 speed so that only the mSata runs

@6Gbps and the other four HDDs @3Gbps (as Sata 3 is really not needed for HDDs) ?

Best regards

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7 Replies
Community Manager

Anyone ?

No one at Intel knowing this ?

Community Manager

Hello Wam, I will try to answer your questions.

1) If you install a Solid-State Drive on the PCI Express* slot, you wont be able to use it for anything else.

2) If you install the Solid-State Drive on the PCI Express* the bus that will be used if for the PCI Express*, you shouldn't have any problems related to speed.

3) There is no way to force the SATA ports to work at a different specification and there is no need to as per what I explained before.


Community Manager

Hi Victor,

Thank you for your answer, but that's not exactly what I was asking for point # 2.

Yes, I know the PCI Express bus will be used, but I'm actually worried about the Sata controller. Are you saying that both disks connected to the Sata 3 ports AND the mSata SSD will run at 6 Gbps ?

That's my real problem here as the chipset is only supposed to handle 2 Sata 3 disks as per the H77 specification.

Best regards.

Community Manager

Hello, as per the information that we have, the PCI Express* controller should be able to work at 6Gbps transfer speeds.


Community Manager

Well, to be honest, I really thought (when I first asked) that I would get a confirmation that mSata would not run at 6Gpbs because that would go against the H77 PCH specifications (section 1.5.4) which states it handles only two sata 3 interfaces and 4 sata 2.

I guess I'm gonna have to test it to find out, as it seems difficult to get a definitive technical explanation.

Thank you for your time.

Best Regards.


I installed a Toshiba THNSNH128GMCT 128 Gb SATA 6 Gb/s SSD into DH77DF's mSata slot and it actually works at only SATA 3Gb/s.

Sequential Read : 270.513 MB/s

Sequential Write : 167.024 MB/s

Random Read 512KB : 246.356 MB/s

Random Write 512KB : 166.772 MB/s

Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 21.816 MB/s [ 5326.2 IOPS]

Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 53.102 MB/s [ 12964.3 IOPS]

Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 184.863 MB/s [ 45132.5 IOPS]

Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 125.076 MB/s [ 30536.2 IOPS]


The PCH support a maximum of two 6.0 Gb/s SATA ports, since this specific motherboard comes with two 6.0 SATA ports (blue regular SATA ports), the speed of the mSata will be a 3.0 Gb/s.

You can use a 6.0 Gb/s SSD on that port, but the transfer rate will be 3.0 Gb/s, like in your case.